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1. Gildan vs. Bella Canvas at a glance

Bella Canvas vs. Gildan: Comparative analysis + top t-shirts

If you are an artist or creator looking to print your designs on t-shirts, picking the right brand can make all the difference. Bella Canvas and Gildan are two top choices when it comes to creating custom t-shirts, and both have unique benefits. 

In this detailed post, we will help you understand the unique features and strengths of both to decide which one is the best match for your needs.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Gildan t-shirts stand out for their affordability, especially for bulk orders, making them ideal for cost-conscious creators. Bella Canvas, while slightly more expensive, offers premium fabric quality and a better fit, which might justify the higher price for some buyers.

  • Bella Canvas t-shirts use high-quality, soft fabrics like ring-spun and airlume cotton, prioritizing comfort and a luxurious feel. Gildan t-shirts, with their cotton-polyester blends, are more focused on durability. These blends offer good wrinkle resistance and longevity but may feel stiffer.

  • Gildan provides a classic, relaxed fit suitable for general everyday wear, while Bella Canvas offers a more tailored, modern fit that can enhance the overall aesthetic of the designs. Bella Canvas also features a broader range of colors and styles, catering to both classic and trendy preferences.

  • Due to its robust material composition, Gildan is a better choice for those needing durable, high-traffic wear. Bella Canvas, although slightly less durable, provides superior comfort and style for everyday wear and artistic projects.

  • Both brands offer a variety of top t-shirts with unique benefits. Bella Canvas excels with a wide color palette and styles like the 3001, 3413, and 3005, while Gildan offers sturdy options like the 5000, 2000, and performance-oriented 42000, each serving different consumer needs effectively.

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Gildan vs. Bella Canvas at a glance

Bella Canvas and Gildan are prominent players in the t-shirt market, each offering unique characteristics. 

Bella Canvas is recognized for its variety of soft, versatile t-shirts available in many sizes, styles, and colors, suitable for any event. One of their fan favorites is the Bella Canvas 3001, famous for its comfortable fit, stylish look, and vintage charm. 

On the other hand, Gildan is praised for its durable, affordable t-shirts that resist fading. Their Gildan 2000 model is a popular choice in their product lineup. Clearly, both Bella Canvas and Gildan come with their own set of advantages, setting the bar high in the t-shirt industry.

Bella Canvas vs. Gildan features overview and comparison

T-shirts texture comparison

Now, let's delve deeper into the specifics of each brand. We'll compare Bella Canvas and Gildan in terms of price, fabric composition, quality, fit, and more.


  • Gildan: Known for affordability, Gildan t-shirts are a budget-friendly choice, particularly for bulk orders. This makes them ideal for cost-conscious creators or those producing high volumes.

  • Bella Canvas: While slightly more expensive than Gildan, Bella Canvas shirts offer premium fabric and a focus on fit. The price difference is relatively small, and the value proposition can outweigh the initial cost, depending on your needs.

Winner: Gildan wins in terms of pure affordability. However, the value proposition of Bella Canvas should be considered when making your decision.

Fabric composition

  • Gildan: These t-shirts are primarily made of cotton blends, often incorporating a higher percentage of polyester. This enhances durability and wrinkle resistance but can affect breathability.

  • Bella Canvas: Bella Canvas utilizes ring-spun or airlume cotton, which yields softer, finer yarns and a more luxurious feel. Their blends typically contain less polyester, prioritizing comfort over wrinkle resistance.

Winner: Bella Canvas takes the crown for fabric composition due to its focus on softer, more comfortable materials.

Fabric quality

  • Gildan: Gildan t-shirts offer superior quality. They're durable and resist wrinkles well, making them a practical choice. However, the fabric may feel slightly stiffer and heavier compared to Bella Canvas.

  • Bella Canvas: When it comes to pure fabric quality and feel, Bella Canvas shines. Their commitment to ring-spun and airlume cotton translates to noticeably softer, lighter, and more luxurious shirts.

Winner: Bella Canvas clearly wins for fabric quality due to its focus on creating a softer, more luxurious feel.


  • Gildan: Known for a classic, relaxed fit, Gildan t-shirts are ideal for everyday wear and unisex styles. They offer a comfortable drape and plenty of room for movement.

  • Bella Canvas: Bella Canvas takes a more modern, tailored approach. They offer unisex and gender-specific cuts that flatter various body types, allowing for a more fitted look that can elevate the overall design aesthetic.

Winner: Gildan excels in providing comfort, while Bella Canvas offers a more flattering fit for a wider range of body types. So, it depends on the kind of designs you are creating and the preferences of your target audience.

Color palette

  • Gildan: This brand offers a solid selection of classic and basic colors, making it a reliable choice for designs that prioritize a timeless aesthetic. It also offers some trendy colors, but the overall palette leans towards practicality.

  • Bella Canvas: On the other hand, Bella Canvas goes beyond the basics, featuring a vast array of solid colors alongside trendy and vibrant hues. This extensive palette empowers creators to bring their artistic visions to life with a wider spectrum of color choices.

Winner: Bella Canvas wins for color palette due to its extensive selection that caters to both classic and trendy design preferences.


  • Gildan: Generally, Gildan follows true-to-size measurements for its t-shirts, minimizing the risk of sizing discrepancies. On their website, they also offer a comprehensive size chart to ensure a good fit for various body types.

  • Bella Canvas: Likewise, Bella Canvas prioritizes true-to-size measurements. Both brands recommend consulting their size charts before ordering to guarantee the perfect fit for your target audience.

Winner: This category is a tie. Both Gildan and Bella Canvas prioritize accurate sizing, making the decision dependent on your preference for specific size ranges or available size chart details.

Comfort and wearability

  • Gildan: Gildan t-shirts provide good everyday comfort. Their classic fit allows for ease of movement, and the cotton blends offer breathability. However, the fabric may feel slightly stiffer compared to Bella Canvas.

  • Bella Canvas: When it comes to pure comfort and wearability, Bella Canvas reigns supreme. Their commitment to softer, lighter fabrics creates shirts that drape beautifully and feel exceptionally comfortable against the skin, making them ideal for everyday wear and layering.

Winner: Bella Canvas clearly wins for comfort and wearability due to its focus on creating luxuriously soft and lightweight fabrics.

Durability and longevity

  • Gildan: Gildan t-shirts excel in durability. The higher polyester content in some blends makes them resistant to wrinkles and frequent washing. However, this can come at the expense of a slightly stiffer feel and potential wear over time.

  • Bella Canvas: While not quite as durable as Gildan, Bella Canvas shirts still offer good longevity. Their focus on softer fabrics may result in a quicker breakdown of the material compared to Gildan's blends. However, Bella Canvas shirts can still maintain their quality for a respectable amount of time.

Winner: Gildan wins for pure durability, which is ideal for high-traffic wear. However, if breathability and a luxurious feel matter more to you, Bella Canvas might be a better choice, even with slightly less durability.

Top Bella Canvas and Gildan t-shirts

Now, let's check out some of the top t-shirts from Bella Canvas and Gildan! We will spotlight the best options available on Gelato's print on demand platform.

Best Bella Canvas t-shirts

1. Bella Canvas 3001
Bella Canvas 3001 shirt

The Bella Canvas 3001 is a fantastic value-for-money unisex t-shirt. Made from 100% soft, combed, and ring-spun cotton, it suits a variety of body shapes with its store-quality fit. 

The shirt is available in many colors, allowing your designs to really stand out. If you value comfort, breathability, or a vast color selection, the 3001 is a suitable option for your artistic project.

2. Bella Canvas 3413
Bella Canvas 3413 shirt

The Bella Canvas 3413 unisex t-shirt is a blend of cotton, polyester, and rayon, making it incredibly soft yet durable. With its lightweight design and easy-going fit, this tee showcases Bella Canvas' dedication to comfort. 

Unlike the 100% cotton 3001 t-shirt, the 3413 may not be as breathable, but it's better at resisting wrinkles. Plus, with a wide range of colors available, this tee suits both classic and contemporary styles.

3. Bella Canvas 3005
Bella Canvas 3005 shirt

The Bella Canvas 3005 is a unisex V-neck t-shirt that provides both comfort and style. Made of 52% combed and ring-spun cotton and 48% polyester (for heather colors), it wears softly but keeps its shape. The t-shirt has a retail fit that suits various body shapes and hangs nicely. 

Its color palette mainly offers solid and fundamental shades compared to the 3001, but it still gives a decent choice for various designs. If you want a cozy V-neck that's soft to the touch and fits well, consider the 3005.

Best Gildan t-shirts

1. Gildan 5000
Gildan 5000 shirt

The Gildan 5000 Heavy Cotton T-Shirt is very cost-effective and long-lasting. Made out of 100% preshrunk cotton, it has a comfortable and versatile fit suitable for everyday wear. Although the feel of the fabric might be a bit more rigid compared to Bella Canvas's offerings, it's great for regular use and washing. 

This t-shirt mainly comes in solid and basic colors, ideal for timeless designs. If you're looking for an affordable shirt that can withstand a lot, the Gildan 5000 is a great option. However, if you prefer softer fabric or more color options, you may want to explore other choices. 

2. Gildan 2000
Gildan 2000 shirt

The Gildan 2000 Ultra Cotton T-Shirt is a comfortable option within the Gildan brand. It's made of 100% cotton jersey knit and has a heavier weight, giving it a soft feel and a nice drape. This t-shirt has a classic, relaxed fit, making it great for everyday wear and unisex styles. 

This tee is more durable than the 5000 because of its heavier cotton content and lasts a longer time. This t-shirt comes in a wider range of colors than the 5000, including trendy and classic options. If you are after a t-shirt that's affordable, comfy, and available in various colors, then the Gildan 2000 Ultra Cotton is worth considering.

3. Gildan 42000
Gildan 42000 shirt

The Gildan 42000 Performance® T-Shirt is a great choice for anyone making active or sports clothing. It's made from 100% polyester, which means it wicks away moisture, controls odors, and resists snags. This makes it perfect for athletic designs or clothes for an active lifestyle. 

However, because it is made from polyester, it might not be as breathable as the above cotton t-shirts. It has a modern, classic fit, which means it's comfortable and easy to move in. This t-shirt comes in a variety of solid colors, including safety green, which meets high-visibility standards.

Consider the Gildan 42000 if:

  • Your design requires moisture-wicking and performance features.

  • You're creating activewear or t-shirts for athletic use.

  • You require a snag-resistant option.

However, keep in mind that:

  • The 100% polyester build may feel less comfortable compared to the cotton polyester blend.

  • The breathability might be lower than other Gildan options.

Elevate your t-shirt line with Gelato

Imagine creating high-quality custom t-shirts without the burden of inventory or upfront costs. That is the power Gelato offers. We're a one-stop shop for creators and artists like you who want to sell high-quality apparel, such as premium t-shirts from big brands like Bella Canvas and Gildan, with on-demand printing.

Forget about upfront costs and storage headaches. With Gelato, you only pay for what you sell, eliminating the risks associated with holding inventory.

What's more, our platform offers both Bella Canvas and Gildan t-shirts, giving you the freedom to choose the ideal canvas for your artistic vision. Unleash your creativity in our user-friendly Personalization Studio, where you can upload your designs and mock them up on various t-shirt styles.

Ready to elevate your t-shirt business and turn your designs into reality? Sign up for Gelato today and subscribe to one of our affordable plans to unlock a world of creative possibilities!


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